Monday, February 21, 2011

Change It Up

Sometimes it feels really great to change up your normal workout routine. I think it's actually essential because if you do the same thing every day, like running, you're working the same muscles time after time and after a while the benefits seem to cease. Also, if you don't give your muscles a chance to rest, you're risking injury too.

This past weekend I did a different form of exercise Friday-Sunday. I am the most excited about Friday so I will share that last.

On Saturday the sun was shining and we had Spring-like temperatures so I went running in the park with friends and logged 3.3 miles. My times were all between 10-11 minutes, but that is what I was expecting based on my lack of running. Plus, I didn't want to push myself too hard.

On Sunday, I hit up the pool at my gym and swam 50 lengths, alternating between freestyle, kicking, freestyle w/ a pull buoy, and backstroke.

Here is a pull buoy:

People put pull buoys between their thighs or ankles and swim with it. Why? The buoy lifts your hips into a more optimal swimming position, and it gives your arms more of a workout since your legs do not kick while they are holding it. So, I work the legs extra hard by doing lengths where I'm just kicking (while holding onto a board), work the arms extra hard by doing lengths with a pull buoy, and then bring it all together with freestyle or backstroke.

After swimming I did 15-20 minutes of strength and abs. I'd like to get back into lifting 2x per week because it helps me not to get injured!

So, about Friday! When I was younger, I used to ride horses. One of my best friends from growing up still rides, and I joined her at the barn on Friday for my first ride in 13 years. It was so strange to be on a horse again, but I got comfortable after a few minutes and we went on a nice trail ride. When we got back to the barn, we went to the indoor arena and I did some trotting and cantering (a trot is a 2 beat gait faster than a walk, and a canter is a 3 beat gait faster than a trot, but slower than a gallop). We ride English Hunt Seat, by the way. You wouldn't look at horseback riding and think it's much of a workout, but it really is. It seems to work your inner thighs more than anything. After the first time I ever rode a horse, I could barely walk the next morning! It was so great to be around the barn again and I plan to go back soon.

So there you have it - riding, running, and swimming all in one weekend. I'm getting my groove back!

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